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New Left Review I/39, September-October 1966


Giovanni Arrighi

The Political Economy of Rhodesia

It is one of the purposes of this article to test the validity of the assumption of an interaction between economic base and superstructure in explaining the historical development of Rhodesia, and in interpreting recent political events there. To this end the economic base of the Rhodesian social system before World War II is analyzed and related to the coexisting set of socio-political events and attitudes. In and after World War II external stimulants induced a process of development which altered the economic base and saw the emergence of an African proletariat and a manufacturing capitalist class. But this process of development was subsequently interrupted because of the resistance of those classes who owe their economic and social status to the superstructure of the old production relations. In the light of this analysis some conclusions about the present political conjuncture are drawn.

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